Justin Marks: ‘There’s stuff that has to be cleaned up’
After Ross Chastain was involved in another controversial crash Sunday at Darlington Raceway, Trackhouse Racing team owner Justin Marks said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that his driver “has some things he’s got to clean up.”
Chastain and Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson wrecked late in the race while wrestling for the lead. After the race, team owner Rick Hendrick was critical of Chastain, saying: “If you wreck us, you’re going to get it back.”
On Monday, Marks told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that changes are underway at Trackhouse.
“We’ve had many conversations with many people today (Monday),” Marks said. “Some difficult conversations. I think the important message here is that we are a believer in Ross’ talents. That’s obvious. He’s very fast. But he’s got some things he’s got to clean up. We today started the process of more aggressively handling that -- with our partners, with Ross and with our team. Not necessarily because we’re mad at him, but there’s so much opportunity here.
“We’re addressing it. I’m going to take a more active role in it. I love the kid. I love the opportunity it’s given every single person at Trackhouse to be able to put a championship run together. But there’s stuff that has to be cleaned up. It’s a process he’s going to have to start going through sooner rather than later.”
Chastain has been involved in controversial moments in the past four Cup races. In the race prior to Darlington, at Kansas Speedway, he and Noah Gragson had an on-track incident that led to a brief scuffle between the drivers afterward. Chastain punched Gragson in the face before they were separated by security officials.
Marks stressed that he continues to support Chastain.
“Ross drove a great race (Sunday),” he said. “He made good decisions in the first and second stages and not racing guys super hard, letting a couple of people go, managing that give and take.
“Then it all kind of fell apart at the end. (If) Ross clears Kyle and makes that pass and wins the throwback weekend at Darlington seven days after a scuffle on pit road, and the guy is a legend. He’s got the skill to do that; he’s got the ability to do that. The result was just bad -- bad for everybody. It was bad for Hendrick, bad for Chevrolet, bad for Trackhouse and for Ross as the points leader.”